Reader Q: Where should I go to grad school?

2015-05-09 12.26.03

I have worked for three years in women’s rights advocacy, and I’ve always wanted to do aid work. Of particular interest to me is disaster relief – refugee situations, climate disaster. Women tend to be the most affected in these situations, and it’s where I’m most passionate. 

I was wondering if you had any advice for WHERE is best to get that type of Master’s. From my research, I’ve found several degrees in Disaster and Risk Management, Climate Change etc, at Scandinavian Universities – Lund, Leiden, Copenhagen etc. I haven’t really found any others (besides American universities, which I kind of have to rule out because of the $100,000 in tuition). Do you know of any that produce a lot of aid workers? Or that relief organizations tend to hire from? Any advice would really be appreciated. 

I don’t think it matters all that much where you do your degree. It matters more that you choose a degree that is relevant to the work you want to do. I’d research it in the other direction – take a look at DevEx and Idealist to see what jobs are out there that interest you, and what kind of degrees they ask for. From there you can evaluate different schools based in who offers the degree you want. Different schools offer different internship and networking opportunities, and different levels of name recognition, but there is no magic school that offers an easy path into aid work.